Celebrating Pride 2020

Eight colour pride flag

As Sheffield prepares to celebrate Pride online this weekend, Professors Gill Valentine and Amaka Offiah reflect on how the Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted the importance of equality for all, and the intersectionality of LGBT+ and race equality:

“Pride is a chance to celebrate how far LGBT+ equality has come whilst also reminding us all of the progress that is yet to be made. I'm proud to be part of an organisation that has for many years championed LGBT+ rights.

"In June, the Black Lives Matter movement highlighted the importance of equality. For many, LGBT+ and race equality intersect at a very personal level. Ultimately, we want to progress to a point where a person's identity never holds them back from reaching their full potential in life.”

Professor Gill Valentine, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Senior LGBT+ Champion

“Both LGBT+ and race-related inequalities are extremely important issues. It is therefore heartening to see their intersectionality recognised in a single emblem chosen by the University. While Pride is a time to celebrate the advances made in realising equality for the LGBT+ community, the events of this year have caused us to reflect in more depth than usual on the inequalities that still exist. Beyond reflection should then come action, so that eventually we can live in a world where an individual's identity is not a barrier to their success.”

Professor Amaka Offiah, Chair of the BAME Staff Network

We’re also delighted to take this opportunity to introduce the new co-chairs of our LGBT+ Staff Network and invite colleagues to help play a key part in ensuring that our University is a safe and inclusive place to work and study.

The LGBT+ Staff Network enables LGBT+ staff to come together to share information, support and ensure we maintain a comfortable and fully inclusive environment for all staff at the University. They organise a range of social activities and provide regular updates on the work of the committee as well as wider University policies pertaining to LGBT+ staff. The network is fully inclusive of all minority sexual orientations and gender identities.

The network recently appointed two new co-chairs: Gemma Halliwell and Mark Yarrow. Gemma is a Data and Reporting Analyst in the Careers Service, and Mark is the Executive Editor for the Applied Probability Trust in the School of Mathematics and Statistics.

Dr Gemma Halliwell

Dr Gemma Halliwell

Pronouns: She/her

“I am excited to be taking up this new role with the LGBT+ staff network. I came to the University of Sheffield as a student in 2009 and ended up completing both my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees here. I have grown a lot as a person over the past 10 years and Sheffield LGBT+ networks have been a big part of that. I look forward to assisting in the running of a staff network that provides an inclusive and welcoming space for LGBT+ staff to come together, share experiences, and support one another.”

Dr Mark Yarrow

Dr Mark Yarrow

Pronouns: He/him

“I joined the University in Autumn 2015 as a research student in the School of Mathematics and Statistics. My work on the topic of complex networks concluded in Summer 2019. Immediately after (in fact before I finished) my PhD, I took over as the Executive Editor of the Applied Probability Trust. I am keen to get involved in wider university activities and thrilled to be co-chair of the LGBT+ network with Gemma. I am excited to build the network to a larger presence in the university.”

The network is currently looking for LGBT+ members of staff to assist with running activities. They are looking for people to cover a variety of roles including internal and external engagement, publicity/social media, and peer support roles.

They would particularly like to encourage expressions of interest from staff from other ED&I groups such as BAME and staff with disabilities, and groups within the LGBT+ spectrum such as trans and non-binary, asexual and aromantic, and bi+.

Register your interest

Our LGBT+ staff and student networks continue to work closely with the University to make sure that this is a safe and inclusive place to work and study. This work includes developing LGBT+ inclusive resources, training, policies, and awareness campaigns.

And it’s thanks to the hard work and commitment of many colleagues and students in helping us build an LGBT+ inclusive workplace that earlier this year we were recognised as a Stonewall Top 100 employer for the seventh year running.

Dates for your diary

Digital Pride in Sheffield: Saturday 25 July, 6-8pm

Join Pride in Sheffield for an evening of spoken word, a short film, singing burlesque and standup. Hosted by Scarlet SoHandsome and featuring Renaye Roberts, Monique Russell, Rosey Rostant, Vicky Laylor and Steve Taylor from EuroPride. After the event there will be a DJ set to finish the day off on The Leadmill Twitch channel. Attend via Facebook Live

Pride in London events

Pride in London are hosting a series of digital events for Pride season, including documentary screenings, online socials and concerts. View upcoming events and watch on demand here

Support & resources


SAYiT works with young people and professionals to make real lives better. They provide practical support around LGBT+ life, sexual health, HIV and mental wellbeing, while their training helps organisations improve knowledge and address discrimination.

LGBT+ Equality Hub Network Sheffield

The LGBT+ Hub is a forum for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and people of other minority sexual orientations and/or gender identities under the LGBT+ umbrella and their allies.

LGBT Sheffield groups

LGBT Sheffield has collated a list of groups and support networks here

Gendered Intelligence

Gendered Intelligence has created a hub of Covid-19 resources and guidance to support you during self-isolation.


Stonewall has collated a list of support and services for those who have been affected by Covid-19.